Intellectual Property Theft-A Real Menace of the Digital Age
Overview: Internet is the most remarkable invention of the twentieth century. The internet has opened many new avenues for growing the business. It has also become a part and parcel of our lives. On the other hand, rapid download speeds, perfection of digital copying and the rise of e-commerce have increased the chance of piracy and counterfeiting. The robbing of creative ideas and innovations has become a menace in the digital age. The quantum of theft is increasing day by day. The thieves are using several new technologies to steal the intellectual properties (IP) of the creators. According to a rough estimate of Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), US businesses lost 200 billion of Dollars in 2000 compared to 45 billion Dollars in 1999 by IP theft. At the same time, US Government is losing the substantial amount of revenues and US workers are also losing their jobs.
What is IP theft: IP theft is not the conventional type of physical property theft like pick pocketing and shop lifting. It is an invisible virtual theft. Therefore, it cannot be detected instantly. Another problem is that it is very difficult to identify the location or source of the theft. The intellectual property of a particular can be robbed from anywhere of the world through internet. Intellectual property theft includes copyright infringement, trademark infringement and patent infringement.
Nature of IP infringement: Legally, the term theft is not applied in the case of IP theft. It is termed as the violation or infringement of IP rights. There are various types of IP infringements. The fraudulent companies use online a logo or a band of the reputed company for selling the imitated product. Looking at the fake logo or brand, the customer purchases fake goods online assuming that he is purchasing it from the real company. Downloading or sharing original music or video from unauthorized sites is another example IP theft. In this case, the original company loses its legitimate revenue. According to an FBI survey, about 75% of the theft is perpetrated by the trusted insiders of the company. The trusted insiders disclose deliberately or unmindful the vital technology and customer database to the fake companies for fraudulent activities. The traffic report of online piracy and counterfeiting reveals that
The top three fraudulent websites generated about 21 billion traffics per year.21 e-commerce sites that sell fake products have attracted about 36 million visitors per year. North America and Western Europe are the epicenter of the counterfeit internet sites.
Legal protection against IP infringement: Multiple layers of security and safeguards are taken to protect the IP rights. Strong password controls, two factor authentic mechanisms, physical barriers, designated authorized access and control mechanisms are implemented to limit the access of the only appropriate person in the restricted area. However, the highest level of security measure can only minimize the threat of infringement; it cannot totally eliminate the risk of IP theft. In that case, the company can get the compensation suing the fraudulent sites. All the member countries of Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) have passed the laws to counter the piracy of IP. In US, the anti-piracy law is very stringent. A legitimate company can get the compensation up to 30,000 Dollars per infringement.
For more information about legal protection against IP infringement, contact Lex Protector.